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Yucca Mountain, long touted as the answer to the nation’s nuclear waste problem, was canceled by the Obama administration in 2009. But now the country’s leading group of nuclear scientists and engineers is demanding that the proposed storage facility be given another look.”I write to express our deep concern about the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inability to complete consideration of the Yucca Mountain licence application in a scientifically objective and technically meritorious manner,” Loewen told NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko.
“I urge you to perform your duties mandated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and complete the Yucca Mountain licensing process.”
The Department of Energy had studied Yucca since the late ’70s before handing it off to the NRC in 2008. When the funding from Washington dried up, NRC inspectors halted their review of the full site and its functionality, essentially ending the process half-finished.
Top ANS officials, many of them former industry leaders and academics, argue that the licensing process should be finished regardless of the project’s prospect of actually operating. In July, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.